The Role of Advertising in Brand Image Development

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The role of advertising in brand image development
The notion that there is no objective reality and that people trade in the realms of perception and image represents one of the most important tenets of human understanding. Nowhere is this more true than in the area of human relationships with business organizations, i.e. the domain of marketing. Indeed images at all levels of marketing have taken on an increased importance in recent times. Corporations have become obsessive about public perceptions of their activities while at the level of the product/brand there has been a “shift in attention away from the physical aspects and functional benefits of products to their symbolic associations,
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26). Essentially “identity means the sum of all the ways a company chooses to identify itself to all its publics…image on the other hand, is the perception of the company by these publics” (Marguiles, 1977,
p. 66).
In seeking to manage the image development process, a company will focus on that element which it can control, its identity. Ultimately image is formed in the mind of the receiver. In short, identity is sent, while image is received/perceived. These truisms regarding image and identity are relevant at all levels of marketing imagery. • At each level at which it is attempting to manage the image development process an organization has available a wide variety of elements of its identity. Olins (1989) defines corporate identity in terms of four key elements, product/services, physical environment, information, and staff behavior. Topalian (1984) agrees with this concept of constituent elements of corporate identity, but restricts his classification to three key elements, physical, operational, and human characteristics. At the level of retail identity Martineau (1958) defined four key dimensions, layout and architecture, colours and symbols, sales personnel and advertising. Similar classifications of store identity components are also proposed by Kunkel and Berry (1968), Lindquist (1974) and Mazursky and Jacoby (1986).
At the product/brand
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